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  • 1440 Daily Digest

China's COVID-19 Surge

The Chinese government said over the weekend it would stop publishing daily reports of COVID-19 cases and deaths, a decision that comes amid reports of a surge in infections after strict lockdown measures were relaxed last week. Observers say the move raises concerns China is deliberately undercounting the toll of the virus.

Since early 2020, China has pursued an aggressive "zero-COVID" approach, at times ordering the complete lockdown of tens of millions of people. November protests over the restrictions led officials to relax policies, which health officials say should likely lead to an increase in transmission.

Analysts have noted the significant discrepancy between official numbers and local reports suggesting hospitals in smaller cities and towns are overwhelmed with patients. China claims just over 5,200 people have died from the virus since late 2019; some models suggest its true final death toll could eclipse 1 million.

The country has also faced challenges in vaccinating its senior population, the demographic most susceptible to the virus.

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